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When it comes to running a business, there are many inner connecting parts that are the backbone of it all. Today, digital platforms have become one of the biggest aspects of business as well as one of the most often overlooked. You may think you are technologically in touch by just having one or two social outlets. Wrong! You are in fact connected but that doesn’t mean you are keeping up with the commotion that is online traffic. Giving more thought and putting in more effort than you imagined is what’s needed to keep you in the game.
This is often hard for companies for a few reasons. If you don’t understand the technology of today, you’re behind. If you don’t understand the importance of social media, you’re behind. If you don’t understand what brand management is, you’re behind. If you have no clue about any of those things, you’re in dire need of help.
So, let’s break it down.
To begin with, get over the idea that social media is just a hobby. It is essentially the heart of your company’s marketing and advertising. Your social platforms are what let consumers know who you are, what you’re doing, and why you’re the best in your field. It also portrays the idea that you are willing and able to keep up with the culture. Therefore, it is so important to create and implement a well thought out strategy and invest in someone to manage it.
It can truly make a world of difference to have it all laid out in front of you and have someone guide you. You may still question why it’s important to have a social media manager when you are seemingly able to do it yourself. While you may be fully capable, the time and money taken away from other responsibilities are costly. Bringing a manager onboard will most likely cost less, save precious hours, and keep you at the forefront of upcoming trends. Additionally, there are a plethora of management tools with a wide variety of services to help keep it all organized. With these tools, you will be able to track and scale your analytics and data which is pivotal in your return on investment and overall success. With this, knowing where you stand, with what demographics, and seeing physical numeric proof that something is or isn’t working will keep you moving forward.
After you’ve grasped the concept of social media, take a step further into it. Social media is not just channels of captioned pictures or daily check-ins, it’s a place that allows you to communicate directly with your consumer market. The ability to talk to your customers and hear them talk back to you is priceless. It is a 24/7 focus group with actual opinions, questions, complaints, and compliments in real time. Hearing back from a company within a decent time frame really makes you stand out and proves that you care about your clients and are willing to listen to their needs and wants. This drives sales and overall interaction up!
Now that you’ve got a better idea of social media, it’s time to talk about brand management. This is an umbrella term that covers a variety of key concepts that outline the success of your business. With a good brand strategy, you should be fully benefiting from your advertising and marketing. You should be able to keep up with your public relations, social media content, and steadily reinforcing an accurate image and character to your company. This means that your brand should be about people. Their experience, as well as emotional connection, is just as important as the detailing of packaging, product quality, and price points. You want your customers to have faith in your word and results so, in turn, you create long-lasting relationships. Being customer-centric is the bread and butter of a campaign. It is all about targeting the best audiences at the right time with relevant and relatable content. You are planting a seed in the consumer’s mind and carefully curating that idea with all that you do. It is persuasion but with a solid promise of deliverance.
So how do you make sure you’re hitting all the targets you need to? Start from within. Having shared core values amongst your employees makes it easier to carry out that same energy in every department. A happy and invested employee speaks volumes to consumers. Additionally, being all in and investing in what it takes to build a team of experts is never a bad move. Your marketing team should consist of those who know the benefits of being ‘social’ versus just selling. You should have a storyteller, a content creator and a manager. Some of these may come in the form of individuals or just a couple people, either way, bring them aboard.
Once you’ve secured your team, it’s time to understand what all goes into the day to day of their work. This begins with time management. For a content creator to be successful and illustrate the brand at its best, they need to find a balance of time. The more rushed a project is, the less time they have to create something unique and specialized. You don’t want to cram your feed with only stock photos! While frequently posting is a major component, the quality of your content should always come before the quantity of it. Sit down with your creator and plan for the next month or two, block it out physically or use a service to help visualize. Making sure every platform is taken care of will keep your nerves at bay and assures you that each post is personalized to fit that audience. You want to be bold, to stand out and to have meaning behind what you’re putting out into the world. Take time conceptualizing what best embodies the brand, play around with imagery and wording but always, always make sure your logo is loud and proud. Use a handful of hashtags, 15-20, that are trending that day, are popular within your niche, and some of your own so that you can make it fun for consumers. People remember catchphrases and edgy ideas more often than not, so don’t be afraid to step outside the norm and make waves of your own.
Algorithms, algorithms, algorithms. This word can be your best friend or worst enemy, it’s all about the attack. Algorithms, according to social platforms, are anything between showing the newest content first, recommended photos based off what you like, to the amount of interaction a post is getting and at what time they are doing so. Knowing what time of day will reap the optimum amount of views, likes, and general traffic goes hand in hand with the analytics of getting leads and rising sales. Whether you are aiming for local or domestic traffic, there are a few specific hours of the day that are typically high traffic. Generally, mid-morning, lunchtime, mid-evening, and late-night hours are best. These are prime times because they hit all time zones within a time frame that people are either waking up to check their socials, taking a break and mindlessly scrolling, or winding down their day. Experiment with your times and you’ll find which best works for you. In keeping up with algorithms it is also important to note that the more often you post, the more likely your ad will be seen. Try not to miss too many days and spread out your posting times!Along with this comes the understanding of engagement and what all those likes, and comments mean. Be sure to actually read what users are saying, this will be your key to choosing what content to put out there. If you’re seeing fewer comments, or an uptick in negative comments on a post, you should probably reevaluate. If you are getting comment after comment and your likes are spiking, it’s probably fair to say the consumers are interested. It’s as simple as reading your audience. In correlation, do some research on your competitors! This will motivate you to do better and gauge what you are either doing better at or need some help on. Follow similar accounts and get ideas on what ‘sells’ for them and work it into your strategy without copying them. Never steal from someone else’s work and if you happen to repost something they have, credit them! This will also build relationships and perhaps lead to cross promotions. Helping yourself while helping others isn’t the worst idea and can expand your audience!
Though there is much more depth to social media and brand management than can be explained here, this is a great start to understanding! Hopefully, you feel more knowledgeable, comfortable, and influenced to tackle it. The first steps can be daunting, but it is worth it in the end. Your success will manifest slowly but surely!
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